2016 Alumni of the Year Award Winners

Phil Barton

Phil Barton
2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (joint winner)

An award-winning songwriter, Phil Barton graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Contemporary Music in 1995. Eight years ago Phil moved from Sydney to Nashville, USA. He now writes for Liz Rose Music and Warner/Chappell Music. Prior to moving to the US, Phil was a member of the two times ARIA nominated children's music band The Flower Pot Gang, and wrote and produced 87 children's music records for the ABC for Kids music label.

In 2015, Phil's song A Woman Like You, as performed by Lee Brice, was a US number one hit, and was recently certified by music rights organisation BMI as having achieved one million plays. In 2016, Phil was awarded an APRA International Recognition Award.


David Silcock

David Silcock
2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year (joint winner)

David Silcock graduated with a Master of Education from Southern Cross University in 2016, and was placed on the Dean's Honours list for notable achievement for his research project. David is a principal, school leadership, at the NSW Department of Education and Communities. His role involves working with other school principals across NSW in the development of their leadership and workplace capabilities. David was instrumental in the creation of the North Coast Initiative for School Improvement (NCISI), which includes 83 school leaders from the Far North Coast region of NSW, colleagues in Alberta, Canada and staff from SCU. In 2015, David was awarded a NSW Secondary Principal Council Distinguished Service Award and was the inaugural winner of the North Coast Secondary Principals Councils' Principal Award. David sits on SCU's School of Education external advisory committee.


Lauren Milledge

Lauren Milledge
2016 Young Alumnus of the Year

Lauren Milledge graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Business in Convention and Event Management in 2010. She started her career in event management with the Parramatta Leagues Club. After a stint working in London from 2011-2012, she returned to Australia as business development executive with Sydney Showground. It was during this role that Lauren was awarded the Richard Geddes Young Achiever Award at the 2014 Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Awards for Excellence. Lauren acted as the deputy chairperson of EEAA's Young Star committee and was also featured as a 'Young Gun' in an article in the business magazine micenet. In Lauren's current role, as hospitality and engagement lead with the National Rugby League, she is involved with White Ribbon, a national campaign which aims to prevent domestic violence against women.


Phil Barton
School of Arts and Social Sciences Alumnus of the Year

An award-winning songwriter, Phil Barton graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Contemporary Music in 1995.

Monique Harmer
School of Business and Tourism Alumnus of the Year

Monique Harmer holds a Bachelor of Business from Southern Cross University,graduating in 1997 and has enjoyed a challenging and diverse career in the hotel industry, working in senior management roles with current employer IHG since 2003. Monique has won many awards at IHG and within the hotel industry, from the early-career award Most Outstanding Crowne Meetings Director in 2005 for IHG Asia Pacific, to the Gold Plate Award 'Best Function/Event Caterer' at the Australian Hotels Association NT Awards in 2012.

Monique is chair of the Tourism Advisory Board for the Southern Cross UniversitySchool of Business and Tourism, reflecting her career commitment to participating,leading and engaging with tourism initiatives.

David Silcock
School of Education Alumnus of the Year

David Silcock graduated with a Master of Education from Southern Cross University in 2016, and was placed on the Dean's Honours list for notable achievement for his research project.

Tristan Sloan
School of Environment, Science and Engineering Alumnus of the Year

Tristan Sloan graduated from Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of AppliedScience in 2004, and a Graduate Diploma of Education in 2014. Tristan is an avid fisherman and fishing journalist and jumped at the opportunity to lead the Amateur Fishing Association of the Northern Territory in 2015. It's a role that he describes as his dream job. On any given day he might be flying to a remote location in the Northern Territory or alternatively meeting with government officials at Parliament House to lobby for recreational fishing in the Northern Territory. He is also a director of the Australian Recreational Fishing Foundation, the peak body for recreational fishing in Australia.

Professor Desley Hegney
School of Health and Human Sciences Alumnus of the Year

Professor Desley Hegney graduated in 1997 from Southern Cross University with a Doctor of Philosophy. Now retired, Professor Hegney's academic career spanned five decades. Throughout that time, Professor Hegney displayed a keen interest in health care improvement and the associated nursing evolution in order to meet the challenges facing Australia's healthcare system. In 2005, Professor Hegney was awarded the University of Southern Queensland Researcher of the Year Award.

Professor Hegney has established herself as a critical leader in the areas of rural and regional practice for nurses. She has published extensively in academic journals, books and other mediums, and founded the Australian Journal of Rural Health, which is now in its 24th year, along with founding the Association for Australian Rural Nurses, which is now a special interest group within the College of Nursing, Australia.

Donna Sewell
School of Law & Justice Alumnus of the Year

Donna Sewell graduated from Southern Cross University in 2003 with a Bachelorof Law, Bachelor of Arts and is principal solicitor of her firm See Well Law, with two offices on the Sunshine Coast. Donna is also a registered trade mark attorney and a nationally accredited mediator. Donna has a Master of Law degree, with a commercial specialisation.

Donna also offers her legal expertise and time to many charitable organisations including the Noosa Heads Lions Club, Tewantin Lions Club, Noosa Community Hospice and Smart Pups Assistance Dogs for Special Needs Children Inc.